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JOWJ Insider Guide To: Bermuda

This is the fourth instalment of a new series in which I virtually sit down with my friends who are currently living/grew up in different countries. I thought it would be a great way to get their insights in to what they would recommend for tourists. From untouched gems to food hot spots to so much more. Keep reading to hear what Alize has to say about her home country of Bermuda. Shorts and triangle are words typically associated with Bermuda, what's a fact you have about the island? "One interest fact about Bermuda is that our tiny little island is almost entirely surrounded by coral reefs. As a result, this restricts large fish like sharks and whales from entering our waters. However, this has also caused many shipwrecks in the olden days. These reefs are so difficult to navigate that all ships entering Bermuda must meet a highly trained Bermudian pilot out to sea, in which they will then climb aboard the ship, take control and navigate through the reefs themselves to avoid crashing. But these reefs and shipwrecks both create amazing snorkeling and scuba diving experiences!" What is your favourite part about living in Bermuda? "As cliche as this sounds, I have to say the people! Bermudians are known for their friendliness. When you walk down a street, nearly every Bermudian will acknowledge you with a smile and/or a “Good Morning/Good Afternoon”, even if they don’t know you! This ‘small country warmth’, is something that I miss when I am traveling abroad." "A close second is the pink sand beaches. It is something that I have learned to appreciate over the years. It’s what makes our beaches completely different from the beaches worldwide." Tell us a secret location that only Bermudans know about! "A secret gem that I’ve only just discovered is an area in Bermuda called Blue Hole . It is a lagoon nature reserve that is known for its hidden caves, walking trails and stunning beauty. Not only is it an Instagram worthy location, but you can also jump in and take a swim!" Do you have any recommendations for an area to stay in? "There aren’t any bad or unsafe areas truthfully. It all depends on what you are looking for out of your vacation. It is interesting to note that there are no bad hotels. They are all of a great standard, so you really cannot go wrong!" "That being said, If you’re looking for a quieter vacation, I’d recommend staying somewhere in the eastern end of the island. It’s a nice place to disconnect, unwind and relax. If you’re interested in the beaches or water-sports, the western end is definitely your pick. There are dozens of beautiful beaches to choose from in this end of the island!" What are some must see attractions in Bermuda for tourists? "I always tell visitors to visit The Royal Naval Dockyard. It is a former Navy base from during the wars. The architecture itself is amazing and worth the visit, but it is also a popular Tourism spot. There are nightclubs, a shopping mall, restaurants, boat excursions, water-sports, museums and even an interactive dolphin experience! You can do almost anything there. As a kid my grandmother would take me every Sunday to grab some ice cream and sit off somewhere and admire the views." "Another must see attraction is the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse. It’s one of the highest points on the island and the views are unmatched! And you can actually climb the stairs and visit the top of the lighthouse!" What's a national dish we must try when visiting? Which restaurant would you recommend us trying this dish at? "Bermuda is know for the best fish sandwiches in the world. It is one of my personal favorites and I’d recommend everyone to try one! Being surrounded by the sea, fish is a main part of our diet here and you can assure that the fish is always fresh." "In my opinion, the best places to grab yourself a fish sandwich are from Woody's Sports Bar and Restaurant or Seaside Grill. In fact, just speaking about this now makes me want to get one!" "A national drink that we have is the Swizzle - an alcoholic rum punch! What makes these so great (yet so dangerous) is that you cannot taste any trace of alcohol. But there is indeed alcohol in it - PLENTY! You can find these at any restaurant or bar here and they all taste more or less the same." Wow that's definitely got our taste buds excited! Holiday weekend is coming up, what would you do? "If the weather is good, my friends and I would plan a beach day! Nothing beats a nice day out in the sun, swimming, enjoying good music, drinking some ice cold beverages and bbq food with some close friends." "That’s my absolute favorite way to spend a holiday weekend. Whether it is 2 of you or 20 of you, it is always a good time." Teach us a few local words or phrases that could come in handy! "There are so many! It’s almost as if we have our own language here. I’ll share a few of the main phrases:"
We all refer to Bermuda as “ Bermy ” or “ De Rock. ” Bermy is just a shortened version of Bermuda but De Rock is a silly nod to the fact that Bermuda is literally a small rock in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean! One thing EVERY Bermudian says (regardless of age, race or gender) is “ Mug ”. For example “That shirt is mug” or “He’s so mug”. Basically meaning that something or someone is boring and just not good. It’s one our most frequently used phrases! More Bermudian words that cause confusion are both “ Buh ” and “ Bie ”. They have no real definition but they’re used as a way to punctuate Bermudian sentences and to dramatize the point being made. We subconsciously say either of the two at the end of most of our sentences. For example, “I’m so tired today buh!” or “What is Arsenal doing today bie?!” One last one is “ Bermuda time ”. Bermudians are infamously known to be bad at being on time to places (myself included!). So this phrase basically means ’late’. For example, “Its 7:15 already and Jazz was supposed to get here at 7:00, she must’ve meant 7:00 Bermuda time.” Where is the best place to go for night out or a day party? "In the summertime, the best day party (we call them dartys) are boat raft-ups. These are just when loads of boats tie together and form one large boat party." "These include loud music, lots of food and drinks, your best swimsuit and your best floaties! These happen every weekend (both Saturday’s and Sunday’s). During night times, our main city is the hub for night parties and clubs, particularly on Front Street. Front street is a corporate and commercial center during the day, but transforms into the place to be at night. There is a bar or club for everyone. There are never any entry fees, just good music, good drinks and good vibes." Shout out a local artist/musician/creative "There are too many to choose from! But I’d have to give a shout to:" -Stylist and fashion blogger @shantia.aiyanna -Bermudian culture photographer @queendom_heights
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JOWJ Insider Guide To: Bermuda
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